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2016: Best Android tablets for work and play

Let's kick off the new year by looking at some of the best Android tablets currently available.
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1 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9

If you want a cheap but user-friendly Android tablet with excellent build quality then look no further than the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. About the only complaint I can level at the Fire HDX is that the Amazon app store is a little more barren than its Google counterpart. But if you're a heavy user of Amazon's service, the HDX 8.9 will act as a great hub for all your entertainment and shopping needs.

Tech spec:

  • Android OS, v4.4 (heavily modified version of KitKat)
  • 8.9-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 featuring a quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 450 CPU and Adreno 420 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Non-removable Li-Ion battery
  • 8-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash
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2 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9

For more information on the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, along with pricing, check out the CNET review.

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3 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Sony Xperia Z4

A slim, waterproof and dustproof tablet that's highly customizable and offers superb performance.

Tech spec:

  • Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
  • 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 8.1-megapixel primary camera with auto focus
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4 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Sony Xperia Z4

For more information on the Sony Xperia Z4, along with pricing, check out the CNET review.

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5 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Dell Venue 8 7000

It's thin, it's light, it features an Intel RealSense depth-sensing camera. It must be the Dell Venue 8 7000.

Tech spec:

  • Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat) at launch, with planned upgrade to v5.0.2 (Lollipop)
  • 8.4-inch 1600 x 2560 OLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 CPU with PowerVR G6430 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 8-megapixel primary camera with auto focus, and two 720p Intel RealSense 3D cameras
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6 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Venue 8 7000

For more information on the Nvidia Shield Tablet, along with pricing, check out the CNET review.

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7 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Google Nexus 9

If you want a pure Android experience, free from UI overlays and junkware, along with a regular drip feed of updates then the Nexus is the place to look, and the Nexus 9 is tablet for you.

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
  • 8.9-inch 2048 x 1536 IPS LCD TFT display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Nvidia Tegra K1 chip featuring a dual-core 2.3GHz Denver CPU and Kepler DX1 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 6600 mAh non-removable battery
  • 1.6-megapixel front camera with fixed focus
  • 8-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash
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8 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 9

For more information on the Google Nexus 9, along with pricing, check out the CNET review.

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9 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)

Time for a big tablet, and big tablets don't come much better than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. This is a big tablet, big enough to make compete with the iPad, giving you better screen real estate to do more work.

Tech spec:

  • Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat), upgradable to v5.0.2 (Lollipop)
  • 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 or Exynos 5 Octa 5420
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 8-megapixel primary camera with auto focus
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10 of 12 James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)

For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, along with pricing, check out the CNET review.

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11 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

NVIDIA SHIELD tablet K1

Not a new tablet, but it's back after a hiatus following a fire hazard recall, the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet K1 at the lower price of $199.

Tech spec:

  • Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat), upgradable to v5.0.1 (Lollipop)
  • 8.0-inch 1920 x 1200 capacitive touchscreen
  • NVIDIA Tegra K1 192 core Kepler GPU
    2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-megapixel front and rear cameras
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12 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

NVIDIA SHIELD tablet K1

For more information on the NVIDIA SHIELD tablet K1, along with pricing, check out the CNET review.

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